These two things work in tandem, part of the organic ranking algorithm is baked into the local ranking algorithm. They used to be almost completely separate, though have since merged somewhat. This means that most of the traditional seo factors (backlinks, onsite optimization, content, etc) affect your chances of ranking in the local maps section.
In fact, a large percentage of those found in the top three slots of the map pack are ALSO found organically on the first page, even in uncommon industries that haven’t traditionally relied on SEO. This goes to show that the value of SEO is doubly valuable knowing this information.
Now to the dubious phrase-ology in the title. Proximity, as you know, just means how close one location is to another. In this case, it directly refers to the closeness of the searcher to the business. If someone types in or uses voice search to find “acme service near me”, it will literally bring up the maps section for the closes businesses. This makes sense, but it should also be ringing some alarm bells in your head in certain circumstances.
In order to take advantage of this information, you need to be thinking about the location of your business. Many pest control businesses choose industrial areas where other companies reside. This can be a good idea for some reasons, however, those that have their business within residential areas take advantage of all the search traffic from anything related to proximity. And there’s a lot there, especially if you’re in a highly populated area with a history of bug problems. Think the South, Texas, Southwest, Southern California.
If you’re going to open a new pest control location at some point, keep this piece of information in mind. Not to mention, in your other pest control marketing efforts this knowledge can come in handy. Searches, and traffic, from Google change depending on desktop vs mobile as well as the location of the searcher. All of these factors come into play, and you dang well need a SEO guy that understands it all before giving them the keys to your site.
When someone types in, “pest control near me”, do you show up?